Safety on the move: Crime and perceived safety in transit environments
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Transit environments are public places that individuals may use on a daily basis and are, therefore, important settings of everyday life: transit premises such as a train station, or transit modes, such as a bus, take individuals to their destinations. Getting individuals to use public transportation is not just a matter of making it convenient and cost effective. People need to feel safe too. Good planning should aim to make transit environments safe and comfortable for all. Safety is highly relevant as one in five employees in Europe spend at least an hour each way travelling to and from work.1 This means many hours are spent in trains, buses or in transit, on the move. Are individuals safe while in transit? What affects safety in transit environments? Can they be made safer?
This special issue searches for answers to these questions in the environments of these transit settings and in the social interactions that may take place within them. Some of these interactions are unpleasant...
I would like to thank all the authors who submitted interesting and high quality articles to this special issue. It was difficult for me to select only 8 out of 17 articles to exemplify this research area. My selection process relied heavily on the work (assessment and opinions) gently provided by the referees. Many thanks go to all anonymous referees that are now named below. I wish to acknowledge the editors of the Security Journal, Martin Gill and Bonnie Fisher, for their support along the way. Crucial to reach a cohesive issue were the discussions that took place in a seminar and a workshop held in Stockholm, at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in the autumn of 2013. Big thanks to Professor Paul Ekblom who acted as seminar moderator and provided valuable comments to the participants. Thanks also to the audience who posted a number of important questions and relevant comments, particularly Nancy LaVigne, Bo Grönlund, Andrew Newton, Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris and Jana Sochor. I am grateful for the support of the PhD students (Adriaan Cornelis Uittenbogaard as well as Asifa Iqbal and Bridget Lewakowski) and KTH administration, (Desirée Gavelin and Maria Hult) with the organisation of the seminar. On a fiscal note, I would like to thank the Swedish Research Council (VR) and Centre for Transportation Studies (CTS) for funding these two events. Special thanks go to Professor Marcus Felson at Texas State University, USA. In December 2012, I sent him an email asking for comments on my article on safety in underground stations. Just a couple of hours later, I was hooked up to his network of colleagues in the United States, in the United Kingdom, in Australia, in Europe and in Asia – all discussing safety in transit environments. Some were urban planners, others criminologists, architects, engineers or practitioners experts on risk and safety issues. I decided then to propose a special issue to Security Journal in an attempt to gather some of this knowledge, which seemed to me, was scattered around a number of different disciplines but still with a great deal of overlapping issues. By May 2013, more than 20 abstracts for potential papers were submitted to the special issue, 17 of them turned into articles by the end of August. Today, a year after Professor Felson triggered that initial bullet, I am proud to share with you the experiences gathered on this special issue on transit safety through the lens of these eight articles and afterword. Enjoy!
Referees: Ned Levine, Loraine Gelsthorpe, Anthony Braga, Robert Haining, Lars Dolmen, Aiden Sidebottom, Ines Sanchez de Madariaga, Mathew Ashby, Oded Cats, Jason Roach, Dietrich Oberwittler, Alex Hirschfield, Lucia Summers, Janet Enriquez, Diane Smith, Anders Wrestrand, Jeffery Walker, Bridget Lewakowski, Brian Lockwood, Lallen Johnson, Justin Kurland, Bo Grönlund, Elisabetta Troglio, Ann Legeby, Danielle Reynald, Fredrik Kopsch, Torbjörn Thedeen, Kate Bowers, Rachel Armitage, Eric Mccord, Thomas Stucky, Nicholas Corsaro, Lena Nelin, Martin Gill, Jana Sochor, Jason Goldstick, Henk Elfers, Ian Brunton-Smith, Andrew Prelog, Mathew Hawk, Meghan Hollis-Peel, James Chunghyeon Seo, Remi Boivin, Beth Hardie, Mathew Hawk, Misse Wester, David Nicholson.
- Block, R. and Davis, S. (1996) The Environs of Rapid Transit Stations: A Focus for Street Crime or Just Another Risky Crime? Preventing Mass Transit Crime. Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press, pp. 237–257.Google Scholar
- Ceccato, V. (2013) Moving Safely: Crime and Perceived Safety in Stockholm’s Subway Stations. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
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- LaVigne, N.G. (1997) Visibility and Vigilance: Metro’s Situational Approach to Preventing Subway Crime. National Institute of Justice-Research in Brief, Washington DC: US Department of Justice.Google Scholar
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